The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

July 4th: Interdependence Day

posted by Donna Henes

I was recently invited to address a gathering of clergy who are being trained to serve as resident chaplains in the pastoral care department of a major urban medical center. Specifically, they asked me to present the shamanic point of view of team building with an emphasis on creating alliances and community.

What a fascinating assignment. I immediately sat myself down to give some serious thought to the substance of their request. After much rifling through of books and files as well as several sessions of deep meditation on the topic at hand, I realized that there is no such thing.

From a shamanic point of view (as well as quantum scientific thought) separation is a false concept. It is redundant to think of reaching out to build teams, alliances, and communities, since we are already all connected, allied, joined together as one. The fact is there is no such thing as opposing sides.

There is only one side: just us folks, all of us everywhere, trying to live life as best we can, much more alike than different. There is no us and them. There is only us. We — all of us who occupy this planet: organic and inorganic; living and not; past, present, and future– are the world.

We come from our Mother Earth and return to Her belly. We are made of the same substance as the sea, the soil, the stars. There are, and ever have been, only so many molecules in existence, and all the rest — birth, growth, death, decay, development, change, evolution, transformation — is really just about recycling.

We breathe the same air as our cave-dwelling ancestors, continually inhaling and exhaling, trading carbon dioxide and oxygen with our plant relatives untold billions of times over the millennia. And the same holds true for water. We drink the tears of crocodiles and elephants. We wash in the drainage of the ages. It rains, it pools, it evaporates. We drink, we pee. Again and again and again in a grand scale cosmic round robin.

All borders and boundaries and separations are pure illusion. Each time we touch someone we leave some of our skin atoms behind and pick up a parcel of new ones in an intimate epidermal exchange. Thus we merge, quite literally becoming part of each other. I am you and you are me and we are we. We are all in this together, inextricably bound, riding on our beautiful blue planet through space and time. We are one team, one community, one world, one living, breathing entity. And the sooner we realize it, the happier, safer, and saner we will be.

Today we are surrounded by artificial division, manipulated resentment and fear-mongered anxiety. The real dynamic being played out right now is not about conflicting religious, economic or nationalistic factions. It is not even about war. The struggle is actually between those who believe that the world is defined in terms of contrast, of black and white opposition — good or evil, right or wrong, war or peace, with us or against us — and those who are able to see things in a more harmonious, holistic and congruent manner.   

These are deciding times. It is imperative for those of us who perceive the big picture to make a concerted effort to reach out in ever-expanding circles of affinity, support and empathetic embrace. Now is the time to create healthy, functioning networks in recognition and in honor of our mutual state of being and our common fate.

Let us come out of the cocoon closets of our isolated, separate selves and set our intentions on unity. Let us come together to make connections. To make friends. To make sense. To make art. To make amends. To make whoopy. To make time. To make magic. To make love. To make change. To make peace in our hearts and on the planet.

Let us project ourselves outward as cooperative partners; as interconnected members of our families, communities, species and world; as consciously coexistent inhabitants of our planet, and as conscientious co-creators of our combined future. Life on Earth depends upon our interdependent efforts.
 
As Queens, it is incumbent upon us to step to conscientious leadership. We have the whole world in our very capable hands.

What might we see, how might we act, if we saw with a webbed vision? The world seen through a web of relationships…as delicate as spider’s silk, yet strong enough to hang a bridge on.”
- Catherine Keller
From a Broken Web

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Noting the Process of Noting the Process

posted by Donna Henes

The mental part of our Self is not satisfied with simply accessing our intentions and motives. Our minds want to know what they mean and how they affect us. Our conscious, rational aspect craves order, information, comprehension. We humans seem to have a basic need to organize, classify and characterize the world around us. When we apply this same need for knowledge and understanding to our inner world — our emotions, thoughts, instincts and intuitions — we are able to extract their value. What can we learn from what we feel? And how can we use these feelings to our benefit?

By keeping track of the circumstances and situations of our lives and our own conscious and unconscious responses to them, we can plot our course, chart our progress, project our aspirations, alter our habits, adjust our attitudes and plan our actions. “The decision to write a journal,” writes Christine Baldwin in Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest “has been the most important decision I have ever made, because it has led to every other important decision I’ve ever made. The existence of the journal provides writers with confidence and courage that we can travel as far as the mind allows, and find our way home through the act of writing.”

The blueprints and maps for our lives can be found in the documentation that we keep. When we record our thoughts, feelings, dreams, coincidences, ideas, inspirations and omens, we have the raw data that we need to figure out what it is that we already know as well as what we still need to learn. I call this practice, “Noting the Process of Noting the Process.” I use the term “practice” advisedly. Practice implies attention, concentration and discipline. But the mental effort and dedication required is well rewarded by the Self-knowledge that we stand to gain.  

The word “practice” also serves to remind us that there is no perfect. Whether we maintain a spiritual practice, a creative practice or a professional practice, we are always in the process of learning, adapting, accommodating, growing and changing. The only end comes when we die. In the meantime, all we have is the means, the very process of living, itself. We try, we move forward, we trip, we fall behind, we start again, and eventually we become, while not perfect, perfectly wonderful Queens.

Note the Process of Noting Your Process

Keep track of your life and living.

Keep written, recorded, and/or visual journals of collages, drawings, or photographs that record and comment on your:
Dreams
Feelings
Goals
Happenings
Hunches
Interactions
Impulses
Instincts
Memories
Miracles
Omens
Physical concerns
Thoughts

Keep your inherited and personal herstorical records:
Address Books
Almanacs
Autograph Books
Calendars
Common Books
Date Books
Diaries
Family Bibles
Letters From You
Letters To You
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Year Books

If you do any sort of divinatory readings or consult any oracles, keep notes on these sessions:
Astrology Charts
Automatic Writings
Crystal Ball
I Ching
Palm Readings
Psychic Readings
Runes
Tarot

Put ‘em all together and what have you got? Bibbidi-Bobbidi-YOU!

***
For your information there are two upcoming Spirit Support Skills Teleseminars all about the joys of journaling and Noting the Process of Noting the Process:

JULY 7
WEDNESDAY, 8:00 PM EDT

SETTING IT WRITE:
Journal Keeping for Healing, Sanity, Clarity & Wisdom
A Spirit Support Skills Teleseminar with Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

Learn how to track and express your innermost feelings, ideas, plans, goals, ambitions, aspirations and experiences, and turn them into your own psychic support system.

$25
$60. if you register for all 3 teleclasses in the series
For information:
http://donnahenes.net/pages/teleseminars.shtml
 

AUGUST 4
WEDNESDAY, 8:00 PM EDT

NOTING THE PROCESS OF THE NOTING THE PROCESS:
Keeping Track of Your Transformation
A Spirit Support Skills teleseminar with Mama Donna Henes, Urban Shaman

Learn how to recognize, organize and make sense of the patterns created by the signs, symbols, omens, and instinctual messages from your personal inner guidance so that they can help you create a more meaningful, effective and satisfactory life.

$25
$60. if you register for all 3 teleclasses in the series
For information:
http://donnahenes.net/pages/teleseminars.shtml

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

Mining for Meaning

posted by Donna Henes

The shamanic assumption from which I operate is that every person has her own significant mission in this lifetime: her own path, her own dreams, her own symbols and sensibilities, her own visions and designs, her own way of learning, her own personalized hard-won lessons. That we each have our own singular life to live. That every one of us must figure out for ourselves the fullest, richest, most effective, ethical and satisfying way in which to do it; and moreover, that each and every one of us possesses the wisdom, the power and the responsibility to make it so.

Easy enough said. But so many folks feel awash, helpless and worse — hopeless — floating from one thing to the next without a plan or sense of meaning. How often people come to me saying “I feel like there must be a deeper purpose to life than just working. “I must be here on this planet to do something special, but for the life of me I don’t know what that is.” “I don’t have a clue.” “I keep thinking that by this time in my life I should know what my true path is.” I am at a loss.” “What can I do?”

There is only one thing to do and that is to dig deep down into ourselves to find out what makes us tick, what tickles our fancy and what touches our soul. We can only discover our own truth by paying close attention to the promptings of our inner selves and to our honest reactions to the external energies that surround us. It is ultimately up to us whether we succumb to an unexamined life or try to figure out what the hell is going on inside us and around us, and to engage in it, alter, change and grow with it, so that we might fulfill our greatest destiny and dreams.

We can encourage our inner voice by listening to it. For this we need to concentrate, turn off the static of our hectic daily lives and tune in to the subtlety of spirit speaking on subconscious sound waves. And most important, we need to be open and willing to hear the message. I once consulted my spirit guide, Kanin, by means of a ouji board and asked her if it was she who I hear singing in my ears when a new chant comes to me. She allowed that it was, and then she chastised me. She told me that I needed to do more automatic writing because I was sometimes so hard to get hold of!

Perhaps it isn’t always clear or conscious, but somewhere deep down inside of us, in the very core of our being, we do know our authentic path. We know what we want and what we need; what feeds us and what defeats us. We know our life’s purpose. It is just a matter of paying attention. We know what’s right, because it feels right. By listening to our inner voice, we discover our true intentions and direction.  

Our lessons, and our understanding of them, are often not immediately available or obvious to us. They come encoded in signs and symbols that seem like a foreign language. But, no matter how difficult, it is up to us to access them — if we dare. If we care to earn our sovereignty and walk our destined path, we must excavate the buried treasure of our own value and infinite worth.
 
It always comes down to the same necessity: go deep enough and there is a bedrock of truth, however hard.
- May Sarton

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

A Call to Queendom

posted by Donna Henes

I am delighted to share this article with you sent in by a sister Queen.

Greetings, Queen Donna,

First, a note of thanks for the work you’ve done, bringing the Queen into so many women’s consciousness. It’s such important work! Thank you.

I have been pondering the Queen aspect for some time now. I wrote this piece and I’m forwarding it to all the women I know. If you’d like to pass it along to others, please feel free to do so.

A Call to Queendom

By Kay Stoner, MA

Greetings women of my tribe -

When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s, I had the benefit of being surrounded by women of what I considered advanced age — 70s, 80s and 90s. Many of them had been widowed and had not been partnered for a long time. Some of them had never married, but stayed nurses and teachers and missionaries and lived lives of service, essentially lay nuns or priestesses, if you will (though had I called those devoutly Christian women “priestesses,” they would have had my head on a Christmas morning platter ;).

I’ve sat at funerals amid the eldest women of the family, surrounded by literally centuries of accumulated life experience. What I have seen very clearly is that women can mature to very advanced ages, while staying lively and vital and full of fire and spunk. My great aunts were pistols. They didn’t cause harm, but they didn’t take guff from anyone. They stood their ground gracefully and powerfully with unmatched poise. They traveled the world — alone or in pairs — when the world expected them to be propped up in a chair at a rest home. They learned foreign languages “late in life”. They taught rough-and-tumble college students twice their size how to conjugate verbs.

They could fend for themselves. They could make their way unafraid in the world, and they weren’t dependent on the approval of men or the dominant paradigm to validate their choices. They ruled their lives with an iron fist in a velvet glove, and they were deeply respected by all. Long before Donna Henes did us the wonderful service of voicing the vital concept of Queendom, these elder women of my youth were Queens. They were Queens, in the purest sense of the word, and they remained so, well into their 80s.

I look around me now, hoping to find women who are past 60, and still living life to the fullest, unfazed by their age and bound and determined to make the most of their talents at every turn. I am hoping to find elder women who are able to model the qualities of Queens for young women just entering adulthood, who haven’t had the benefit of a family of elder wise women.

I am hoping that they will have the same kinds of models that I had, and that they will realize that they have more choices in life than graduating from high school or college, marrying, bearing and raising children, surviving divorce and/or disease, then fading away to a hidden world as their kids become parents themselves and their own parents pass on. What will the young women of today do, if they cannot find the sorts of women I grew up with? What will they do with themselves when they’re no longer young? What will they make of their choices?
 
I need to see around me strongly mature women. Powerful women. Independent women. Elder women who are not elderly. Women of age who are not aged. Women who can own that they’ve been through hell and back, and no, it hasn’t killed ‘em off, and yes, they can coax a new life from the compost. Women who don’t take crap. Especially them. Women who have worked for — and earned — the right to stand tall and proud and powerful, regardless of what the television has to say about it.

We need you to be Queens. We need you to model a different way of being and doing and living and loving and ruling, than what we’ve seen before. We need you to step up and take power. We need you to get out from behind the scenes and make a scene. Set the example so many people desperately need — an example of good and right and righteous indignation, of graceful power that doesn’t need to dominate, even as it rules. That doesn’t need to micromanage, even as it leads.

Yes, we need you to be Queens. We need you to not only do, but also to be. Be Royal. Be Regal. Be Venerable. Be Holy. We need you now to show the new generations of women that they have so much to look forward to, with their prodigious talents, their unprecedented education, their new found connections, their influence, their sway, their drive, their possibilities. They need someone to show them in living, breathing flesh.

For the sake of the next seven generations, thank you for listening.

***
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to thequeenofmyself@aol.com.

 

 

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